THE RISE AND FALLOF THE LUFTWAFFE: The Life of Field Marshal Erhard Milch by David Irving

THE RISE AND FALLOF THE LUFTWAFFE: The Life of Field Marshal Erhard Milch

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Milch expressed his ""enduring admiration"" for the Fuhrer until the end, and Irving demonstrates a similar attitude toward the Field Marshal for his extraordinary organizational and technological talents. A World War I pilot who dreamed of nothing but the resurrection of German air power, Milch's resuscitation of the insolvent Lufthansa line impressed Hitler who then appointed him to create the Luftwaffe -- and with calculated ferocity Milch smashed the apprehensive opposition of the manufacturers, bullying, bankrupting or imprisoning them into ever-increased production. Through slave labor he doubled and quadrupled output. When the 1943 terror bombing of Hamburg confirmed his fears that the end was coming, he turned to looting the captive populations: ""l could not care less if every Dutchman froze, drowned, or starved to death, so long as Germany's future is assured."" Milch was closest to Speer, Saukel and Hitler in disposition, personally modest, task-oriented and cold-blooded; he repeatedly clashed with the pretty-boy Goering. At Nuremberg he said his main regret was his failure to complete the goal of ""140,000 fighter aircraft."" Four years in the writing, an assiduously detailed biography of a brilliant if ghastly individual.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1974
Publisher: Little, Brown